7 tips to ace your next job interview
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
According to Forbes, the average number of people who apply for any given job is 118, and only 20 percent of those applicants get an interview. Once you've perfected your resume and passed the initial screening, there comes the dreaded interview. For some it's the most stressful part of their career search.
If you're not the best at selling yourself in an interview, it's time to change your way of thinking. Think of yourself as a superhero — someone who is awesome, cool and confident. Someone who knows everything there is about the industry. Someone who dresses and talks better than anyone else out there.
Let's face it: You are the best applicant out there. I know it's nerve-wracking, but you can do it and I'm here to help. Here are seven tips on how to get yourself into the right frame of mind for your interview.
1. Do your homework: Learn about the company with whom you're interviewing. Read their website top to bottom, Google them, etc. You want to know just as much about the company as the interviewer. Not only do you want to do your homework on the company, but do it on yourself, too. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 48 percent of employers search candidates online. This means go through all of your social media and clean it up.
2. Watch your nonverbal communication: Just as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so does your appearance. Your posture and facial expressions say a lot about a person. Make sure you sit straight up, maintain eye contact and smile frequently. Leaning forward can show interest and active listening.
3. Know your resume front to back: Your resume is what brought you to the seat you're in currently, so know it and be able to elaborate on it. It focused on key points of your past job history, which is when the storytelling of your biography is coming to play now.
4. Be specific when talking about yourself: Along with knowing your resume, identify the problems hinted at in the job ad and prepare examples detailing how you'll solve those problems — and how you've solved similar problems in the past. Make your examples interesting so that it grabs the interviewers attention; they'll remember you.
And don't think you're coming across as arrogant. You're simply providing the interviewer with evidence that you are the right candidate for the position.
5. Leave the negatives behind and always be positive: Don't trash a previous employer or company; and better yet, don't trash yourself. I've seen people say they can't do a portion of the job within an interview.
In the interview, you can do it all — you're Wonder Woman or Superman. If you honestly don't know how to do a certain aspect, then mention that you're in the learning stages and you'd love to embrace more knowledge about the topic. It will show the interviewer that you're an eager learner and want to be the best you can be for the company.
6. Always ask questions: Make sure you have a list of questions before even stepping into the interview. Employers are impressed with individuals who show knowledge and interest in the organization. With that said, ask for the job after your interview is complete. Don't leave without asking when a decision will be made and whether you can call back to check the progress.
7. Send a thank-you note: Make the second impression to the company by sending a thank-you note. Not just saying thank you for your time, though. Get specific and explain your strengths again, how you'd be a great fit for the company and items you discussed within the interview. CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of employers said it's important to send a thank-you note after an interview; 24 percent said it's very important.
Preparing for an interview requires dedication and time, and creating that first impression within the first couple of minutes is crucial to the rest of the interview. After you've done so and aced your interview, it usually takes 24 hours to two weeks to hear from the company with their decision, according to Forbes.
If you don’t hear back, don't get discouraged. Take it as a practice round for the next time. Remember that you're a superhero, and you made yourself stand out above the rest.
"What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates his fate." — Henry David Thoreau
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